It was all laughter and back slapping at the Corporate Headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) this past week as the nation’s sole government approved collective management organization for music and sound recordings celebrated the landmark reciprocal representation agreement just signed between COSON and the United Kingdom based PRS for Music, probably the most respected CMO in the world.
The agreement formalizes the mandate to COSON to manage in Nigeria the extensive repertoire of world music controlled by PRS for Music while PRS for Music will ensure the collection of royalties on behalf of COSON, its members and affiliates for the use of Nigerian music in the UK and other territories where PRS operates directly or through its affiliates.
The details of the agreement negotiated over a period of two years were concluded during a recent visit to London by COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji who is elated by this watershed development and popped a few bottles of Champagne with COSON General Manager, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji to mark the occasion.
Reacting to the development, Chief Okoroji said ‘’the signing of the agreement between COSON and PRS for Music is proof that the world has taken notice of the significant progress COSON has made with respect to the collective management of copyright in Nigeria. Nigerian artistes can now feel confident to churn out world hits knowing that wherever in the world their music is utilized, there is a worldwide network heavily protecting their interests’’
Also highly elated, Mr Efe Omorogbe, CEO Nowmuzik and manager of several top Nigerian artistes such as 2Face Idibia, Timi Dakolo, J. Martins, Seyi Shay, Sunny Neji, Dammy Krane, Tunde & Wunmi Obe, etc said, ‘’This is wonderful! Many boasted that it could not be done. Now, it is done. Anyone who may have been trying a divide and rule tactics to thwart COSON must now come to the conclusion that the game is up. Let the music pay!’’
An ecstatic COSON General Manager, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji, who could not hide his joy said, ‘’My-o-my! This is an incredible development and an indication that it can only get better with collective management of copyright in Nigeria. Nobody can ask me again, ‘who controls the PRS repertoire in Nigeria?’ COSON does, FULLSTOP!’’
Besides the recent agreement signed on behalf of PRS for Music by Ms Karen Buse, Director, PRS for Music International and Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman COSON, COSON has also signed reciprocal representation agreements with several other CMOs in different parts of the world and today possesses the fastest growing global collective management network in Africa.